Atef Maatallah, Sidi Ali Azzouz, 2012, Acrylic and pen on back of canvas, 90x70 cm each. Courtesy the artist and Elmarsa
Atef Maatallah, Sidi Ali Azzouz, 2012, Acrylic and pen on back of canvas, 90x70 cm each. Courtesy the artist and Elmarsa  

Atef Maatallah’s work revisits the codes of narrative figuration through a rigorous illustration of everyday images and characters whose haunting glances evoke an air of transience. Through this sensitive rendering, Maatallah’s paintings and drawings evoke the precarious existence lived by people he encounters in his daily life. The figures are accompanied by particular objects, which through their ephemeral appearance, hint at the tenuousness of their social conditions.

Maatallah studied sculpture at Institut Supérieur des Beaux-Arts of Tunis, graduating in 2004 and fine arts at the Higher Institute of Fine Arts, Tunisia, graduating in 2007. His works have been exhibited in numerous cultural venues including L’Institut des Cultures de l’Islam de la Ville de Paris (2016) and ME.NA Pavilion at Singapore Art Fair (2014). He is a double recipient of the Prize of Paris Contemporary Drawing in 2015 and 2016. His works are included in several private and public collections including Barjeel Art Foundation, Sharjah; Kamel Lazaar Foundation, Tunis and the Ministry of Culture of Tunisia.